Ken Thompson elected as Brooklyn’s first African-American DA, Letitia James in runoff for Public Advocate
By Stephen Witt
In a stunning backstretch turnaround, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio emerged from a tight field of Democratic mayoral candidates to claim his party’s nod and run against Republican Joe Lhota in November and officially end the 12-year era of Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of New York City.
According to unofficial results, de Blasio garnered 40.2 percent to second-place finisher William Thompson’s 26 percent of the vote, followed by Christine Quinn with 16 percent, John Liu with 7 percent and Anthony Weiner with 4.9 percent.
Citywide candidates with more than two people in a race must garner at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.
“We know there’s a long road ahead. That’s true for this campaign, but also in the job that we’re seeking to do,” de Blasio told supporters at his victory celebration.
Meanwhile, at press time, Thompson said he will not concede the primary race until all the paper and absentee votes are counted.
On the Republican side, Lhota received 52 percent of the vote, easily besting John Catsimatidis, who received 41 percent of the vote.
While the mayoral primaries were the most-watched races, Brooklyn voters made history in electing Ken Thompson as the borough’s first African-American District Attorney.
Thompson defeated incumbent Charles Hynes, who has been the DA for more than two decades. Thompson received 55 percent of the vote to Hynes’ 45 percent.
Thompson, a former federal prosecutor who during the campaign hammered Hynes on allegations of misconduct, preferential treatment and wrongful convictions, said he will keep Hynes’ successful programs, but also vowed to run the office more fairly.
“We will have a DA’s Office where there will be one standard of justice for all, no matter where you come from, no matter how much money you have,” Thompson told reporters.
In the race to succeed de Blasio as Public Advocate, Central Brooklyn’s own City Councilwoman Letitia James garnered 36 percent of the vote and now will face state Senator Dan Squadron, who garnered 33 percent, in a runoff next month. James won the majority of votes in the four-person race despite Squadron outspending her 3-1 and having the major backing of his mentor, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.
“There were times when I wasn’t sure if I was running against a state senator from Albany or a senator in Washington,” said James. “We need a Public Advocate who will not cower away from a fight and someone who will be a powerful voice against the powerful in New York.”
In the race to succeed Liu as comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer won 52.1 percent of the vote in turning back a late challenge from former governor Eliot Spitzer, who garnered 47.9 percent of the Democratic electorate.
In Central Brooklyn’s other City Council races, incumbent Darlene Mealy easily won reelection in the 41st District covering East Flatbush, Brownsville and a small portion of Bed-Stuy with 66 percent of the vote over Kathleen Daniel’s 20 percent and Stanley Kinard’s 13 percent.
In the 42nd District, Assemblywoman Inez Barron won her term-limited husband Charles Barron’s City Council seat covering East New York with 43 percent of the vote. Her nearest rival in the seven-person race was Chris Banks with 24 percent of the vote.
In the 46th District covering Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin, Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park, Assemblyman Alan Maisel handily beat Mercedes Narcisse 59 to 40 percent.
Among the big losers in Brooklyn’s City Council races was former Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez, who lost in his bid to win the 34th District covering Bushwick and Williamsburg, to Antonio Reynoso.